Mar 27, 2023 - Food and Drink

Iowans tip above the average

Average restaurant tipping rate
Data: Toast; Map: Axios Visuals

Indicating that Midwest frugality is just a stereotype, a new report by Toast, a digital platform for restaurants, shows that Iowans aren't too shabby when it comes to tipping.

By the numbers: Our gratuity percentage is around 20, above the national average of 19, according to the report.

  • Iowa ranks 16th in the nation, just behind Michigan and Maine.
  • California residents average the lowest tips in the country — 18%.

Between the lines: The minimum wage for Iowa restaurant workers earning tips is $2.90. In California, it’s $15.50, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2023 report.

  • In Des Moines, many restaurants pay above the minimum in order to attract talent.

Pro tip: Some etiquette experts say you're supposed to provide a gratuity based on your bill total after taxes.

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